DEHRADUN: Union ministry of forest, environment and climate change has selected Pauri district from Uttarakhand among three districts from across the country to implement plans to tackle climate change issues such as changing of crop cycle, effect on flora and fauna due to rising temperatures, cloud burst, landslides and other aspects.
"The district has been chosen with the other two to research and find out adverse effects of changing climate on crop pattern, other flora and fauna. Various district projects of state forest department, agriculture, horticulture, behaviour of animals and increasing anthropogenic interferences and related factors to issue," said Dhiraj Pandey, Uttarakhand forest department additional secretary.
The implementation of the plan will include mitigation of any such disasters and adaptation with changing pattern of weather, study of the factors associated with climate change and others.
Other two district included in the project are from Madhya Pradesh and Sikkim each. However, the names of the districts are yet not finalized from these two states.
Uttarakhand has witnessed a tragedy in year 2013 in Kedarnath in which a glacial lake bursted followed by cloudburst in the region claiming thousands of lives.
By estimates, around 10,000 people died while 4021people went missing. Later, out of the total 908 persons who gave DNA samples for matching with missing persons/dead bodies, only 33 samples matched and 875 persons are still in search of their relatives.
The state has also been witnessing a change in animal behaviour due to increasing human interference and encroachment in habitat of the wild.
Big cats such as tigers and leopards are trying to find new corridors to avoid human contact, suggests a study in its initial phase.
Various other indicators such as early blooming of Rhododendron flower, which also happens to be state flower of Uttarakhand, late fruiting and ripening behavior of Kaphal or Box Myrtle in the hill state has left environmentalists worried.
These two are popular species in the state and many opine that this is due seasonal and climatic change.
Ashish Tiwari, professor of forestry in Kumaon University who is also a member of Research Advisory Committee of state forest department, said, "Phenological behaviour, of plants such as flowering,
fruiting, germination is totally determined by climate- temperature, humidity, chilling hours, sunlight and many others. The flora mostly has a set clock to respond to seasonal factors and is highly sensitive to even the minutest alteration in the climatic factors. Change in phenological behaviour is an indicator that ecosystem is responding to climate change."
Phenological behaviour is the scientific study of flowering, breeding, and migration, in relation to
climatic conditions in plants.
Changes in climate bring change in various aspects of a life cycle of a plant including leafing, flowering, fruiting and leaf senescence to name a few.